Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
FIFA instructor Felix Tangawarima has commended ZIFA for the strides they are making in the development of referees.
He has urged the association to develop younger match officials to plug the gap being created by the retirement of the veterans.
Tangawarima made the remarks during the official closing ceremony of a high-level FIFA Mas course at Prince Edward yesterday.
The FIFA Referees development officer for Eastern and Southern Africa was also charmed by the female participants who outshone their male counterparts during the course with Bulawayo’s Blessing Mpande emerging the best from the class of 30.
After excelling in the FIFA course Mpande is now hoping to secure Premier Soccer League and international assignments.
Tangawarima said this year’s course, unlike the previous editions had put more emphasis on practical sessions, than the theory in the class.
“We came and we have done what we were supposed to do, it is not an occasion but a process and you will have more local courses,’’ said Tangawarima.
“I advised that the programme was going to be 80 percent practical and 20 percent theory. But I want to appreciate the commitment levels of the referees here.
“We also saw the progress of their understanding of the new concepts as the week went by, everything that was required from them they did exceptionally well, including the most important part, which is integrity.
“What I would like ZIFA to do is to embark on bringing in some younger referees who can fill the gap that will be left by the senior referees in the next five years. “I was proud of the female referees, they really made a statement and they all did well. Despite some visa issues earlier on my friend from Somalia (Ahmed Ali) has seen the high calibre of referees in this country.
“I would like to thank local instructors and the ZIFA Referees committee for a job well done. We only come in once in a while but the local instructors are always with you, week in week out.’’
ZIFA Referees Committee vice-chairman Gladmore Muzambi, who stood on behalf of his boss Philip Chiyangwa, commended the participants for coming through the gruelling course unscathed.
“As Zimbabwe we will continue to embark on junior development. The observations by the FIFA instructors that there is a yawning gap between the senior referees and the juniors is true and we have to bridge that gap.
“I also want to advise the referees to embark on the use of technology and those that have been advised to improve their physical condition should also take time to do so and move it up to 100 percent.
“We believe that those who are going to handle matches will implement what they have been learning from this course.
“I urge the referees to continue to sharpen your skills so that we have less and less complaints from stakeholders. I am glad to report that building from last year’s course there have been less complaints from the clubs,’’ Muzambi said. Although all the country’s top referees were in attendance including Norman Matemera, Nomore Musundire and Thomas Kusosa, a closer look at their ages reveals that Brighton Chimene is the youngest at 28.
It is a similar case among the women officials with Mercy Mayimbo and Mpande, described by her instructors “as very intelligent’’ being the youngest at 28.
Yet in such countries like South Africa the match officials are being introduced onto the big Premiership stage at the age of 20.
Meanwhile, Mayimbo and Kusosa are also set to travel to Rwanda for a CAF Elite B course at the end of September amid hopes that they will add to the number of Zimbabweans on the panel.
Nomore Musundire; Norman Matemera; Pilan Ncube; Brighton Nyika; Salani Ncube; Edgar Rumeck; Thomas Kusosa; Luckson Mhara; Tafadzwa Nkala; Thanks Nyahuye; Mercy Mayimbo; Stellah Ruvinga; Claris Simango; Faith Mloyi; Zibusiso Nkomo; Ruzive Ruzive; Arnold Ncube; Mhaka Magare; Patrick Kalota; Brighton Chimene; Martin Chivandire; Thomas Masaa; Bhekithemba Moyo; Francis Chirwa; Joel Magweva; Kanzvimbo Kanzvimbo; Alois Muzorori; Anthony Siyavunda; Blessing Mpande; Edward Mucharambeyi